MPIP: Melanoma Patients Information Page

The MPIP is the oldest and largest community of people affected by melanoma hosted through the Melanoma Research Foundation. It is designed to provide support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. Once you have been touched by melanoma—either as a patient or as a family member or friend of a patient—you become part of a community. It is not a community anyone joins willingly. But if you must be part of this group, you will find no better place to find the tools you need in your journey with this cancer, and the friends who can make that journey more bearable.

The information on the bulletin board is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 10/7/2015 - 2:29pm
Replies by: 273c, arthurjedi007

The doctors are recommending radiation post surgical resection for stage 3.  Of course, there's the option to wait and see but it sounds like the recommendation is pretty strong for radiation (esp since melanoma has come back once locally).  Wondering what other people in our shoes have done?  And if you've done radiation, what have the short term/long term side effects been for you?  We are likely going to be doing  Keytruda/ study as well but need to decide on radiation first....and quickly:) 

Thank you so much for sharing!  Also just wanted to say what a blessing this site has been for us.  It's nice to know there are others out there going through this and we're not alone.  The support and information provided by the people on this site has been unbelievable.  Thank you!


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mary1233's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 10/7/2015 - 2:55pm

I hope someone can explain this. The announcement that the FDA has approved the ippi-nivo combination for melanoma patients who are wild-types also included a statement that a year's worth of the treatment would cost in the neighborhood of $250,000.

Here's the queston. I get my insurance through my husband's employer who self-insures. Can my husband's employer fire him because they don't like my medical bills and do not want to be responsible for them? Has anyone dealt with this?

Don't even get me started on how the cost could be $250,000 - I do not understand why anyone whould think I am worth that kind of bill.

Best wishes to all.




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Coneflowers's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 10/7/2015 - 1:17pm
Replies by: Coneflowers, Anonymous

Looking for someone that might have experience with this. My daughters case is very rare, as she was born with this rare type of melanoma. We think it was growing as she was growing,  as she has it in many places. Liver, lungs, bone, scalp. She has started opdivo and just turned 6 months old. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.  

Thank you!

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Just wondering if anyone has had to deal with high ammonia levels. My dads in the hospital now because he is so confused and disoriented. Just looking for some guidance.

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liberty04281's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 10/7/2015 - 8:51am

I finished Yervoy treatment at the beginning of April. I had scans every two months. Last scan was on Saturday and I saw my oncologist today. Lung nodules shrunk after the treatment, but there are a few very small left after the treatment. This is my third scan after I finished the treatment, and all scans so far are stable. My oncologist said it is very good, and my next scan is in three months. I do not know what to think.

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I have not been on these boards in years--but am back with a new concern.  Its beginning to look like every 4 years when this begins to fade something resurfaces to remind me...I aint in control.  Perhaps this post is more the cathartic need to write out my concerns hoping that another has been down this road before than any practical help at this point.

I have been diagnosed twice with stage 1 melanomas (2007 and 2011) on different sites; Plus 5 major dysplastic exisicions; 3 minors and countless biopsies over these past 8 years, I have sadly become numb and routine to these procedures.  However, always grateful how "minor" the melanomas were and straightforwad the treamtent plans (my prayers to those who have far more severe melanomas).

But now that we have basically run out of moles on the skin to biopsy, my eye doctor did the old "hmmmmmm" while giving me my annual exam.  She then said there is a small choroidal nevus that needs to be looked at in 2-3 months to see if there is any change.

Highly likely its just a freckle...but the old anxiety of "have they found something" was reawaken.  Not to mention the fact that this one is in my eyeball so I cannot obsessively watch over these 3 months.

So wondering if there are others who may tend towards a dysplasia nevus syndrome every gotten one in the eyeball?  Since they cannot biopsy (can they?) an eyeball freckle to figure out what it is, what can be done?


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Millykamp's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 10/7/2015 - 6:58am
Replies by: jpg, mjanssentx, Millykamp, Anonymous, BrianP, geriakt

so I got my report back on my SLNB and just need someone to explain it to me. 

Sentinel lymph node #1, left axilla, biopsy: One lymph node positive for

metastatic melanoma (1/1)

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy 

Body site: Left Axilla

SLN: #1



Diagnoisis: yes

H and E: : positive 

S-100: positive 

Melan-A: positive 

Location of metastatic tumor: Subcapsular
Extracapsular extension: Absent
Benign nodal nevus: Absent


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Anonymous's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 10/7/2015 - 9:20am
Replies by: Bubbles, Polymath, BrianP, Anonymous



Has anyone used this drug and what have you heard about this treatment?  I am going to see a Doctor who has tried this vaccine on patients and I don't know much about it.  

I believe this is an alternative option for Stage III Melanoma.


Thanks for any input.


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gm77's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 10/6/2015 - 10:33am
Replies by: fortiz, kylez, Anonymous

Hello everyone,

my father (age 69) is currently been treated in Milan, Italy for metastatic melanoma with brain metastasis.  He has been on trial NCT02039947 ("Study to Evaluate Treatment of Dabrafenib Plus Trametinib in Subjects With BRAF Mutation-Positive Melanoma That Has Metastasized to the Brain") since January. Back then he had 3 brain mets, and many (non-countable in scans) and growing in lungs, kidneys and bowel. He had a great response: all metastasis gone from bowel, only one brain met left but now point-like, and only two small ones in the lungs (but stable since March). We are very HAPPY about the results also because he has no side effects, and is able to have a very good quality of life, including going to the gym and lap swimming 3 times a week.

Starting on month 10, the trial wants him to have scans (full body cat scan and brain MRI) monthly instead of every two months, as he has done so far. I guess it's because around this time many people on BRAF-MEK inhibitors see mets growing again since tumor develops resistance. We clearly want to stay in the trial as long as there is response, but I was wondering whether having a full body CAT scan and a brain MRI every single month is an overkill. 

Does anybody who has been on BRAF/MEK inhibitors have any experience on that? What was your scan frequency around and after month 10?

Thanks everyone in advance, and let me express my gratitude for your contributions to this forum: it is a constant source of inspiration for all of us who are living through this experience.



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ashleyc's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 10/6/2015 - 5:04pm

My father was diagnosed with mucosal melanoma of the nasal cavity in 2010. He was treated with surgery and radiation and had remained NED until two weeks ago where they found a recurrence further back in the nasal cavity. ENT is doing BRAF testing but its taking an extremely long time to get the results. He also referred him to Moores Cancer Center since we live in San Diego California but we couldn't get an appointment until the end of this month. Feeling hopeless waiting around with no plan and no answers. Any advice including of places where to seek out treatment would be appreciated. 

Thank you concerned daughter, 


ashley chavez

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Daisyduke's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 10/5/2015 - 10:14pm
Replies by: Patina, Linny, Anonymous

Can anyone recommend any medical clinics or specialists for a 2nd Opinion?  How do you get on Yervoy and does Insurance cover it?  What about  Watch and Wait.  I believe I am at III A or III B.


I need to make some decisions soon before my followup appointment.  I do not want to go on Interferon!!!!!

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 10/6/2015 - 7:00am
Replies by: Kim K

Anyone have BRAF testing done in stage 3 (we are stage 3b w/local recurrence)?  We are having difficulties getting insurance to cover.  I think it's very important to know as soon as possible.  And it would also be helpful as we decide on doing a study, etc now.  Any ideas, tips, etc you have would be wonderful.  Thank you!


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I just started the Clinical Study NCT02388906.  I am stage IIIB and this trial is for either Yervoy or Opdivo with placebo for stage IIIB and above full resection of lymph nodes. 

I was told when I signed up for the study that BMS (the sponser) would cover all treatment costs that are directly related to the study and I would be responsible to pay for all "Standard of Care" for my diagnosis. 

I have had 3 infusions so far and it turns out I was billed for everything but the drugs.  Is there anyone else on this study and what were you billed for?

I would like to email privately about this to compare but I have been billed for all CT scans, all infusions (Chemo room) and all DR visits to have the DR sign off on my labs to get the infusion.  The only thing I was not billed for was the drugs.

I have to question how they can charge me for infusions since almost half can be a placebo? 

You can PM me directly.


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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 10/6/2015 - 7:05am
Replies by: Kim K, Anonymous

Has anyone used the Family Medical Leave Act protocol to go on short term disability at 60% of salary and also used their Social Security disability at the same time? Is that allowed (from what I can tell, I think it is but am not sure)? The SS process seems really complicated, but I am about to start treatment for stage 4 melanoma (I am post op and scans are done) and just want to know all the options before I start. 


Christine P. 

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